Simonsen lays foundation for future at state cross country meet

By Michael Kinney

It didn’t take long for Gabe Simonsen to start looking toward the future. As soon as he finished competing in his first state cross country meet, the Mustang freshman already began looking ahead to the possibilities.

Simonsen had placed sixth in the 6A Boys State Cross Country Championships Saturday, which put him in position to tie a record of former MHS runner.

“There’s only one guy in all of 6A … even counting back to when the largest class was called 5A … there’s only one boy in the last 40 years that’s ever been an All-Stater all four years, been top 10 all four years, and that was Kevin Schwab and he went to Mustang,” said Mustang coach Mike McGarry. “So now we have a chance to have only two four-time All-Staters. We’ll find out three years from now.”

Simonsen ran a 16:13.54 and was just Steven Clark of Deer Creek, who took fifth.

“I ran better than I thought I was going to do,” Simonsen said. “I really surprised myself, and I felt like I did good. I knew it would be really tight to get All-State, but I did it.”

Jed Helker of Edmond Memorial won the individual title with a time of 15:46.

However, six of the runner who placed in the top 10 were seniors and three were juniors. Simonsen was the only freshman.

“I feel like it’s going to be a lot tougher trying to improve and stuff, but you just see what happens, I guess,” Simonsen said.

One of the runners Simonsen finished ahead of was teammate Cameron Mills finishes his high school career in 10th place after running a 16:16 over the 5K course.

Parker Huckabee helped the Broncos take fifth place overall by placing inside the top 20 at No. 18.

“They did really well. At state you never know. You know, they’re not machines,” McGarry said. “Pressure, cold, just the adrenaline rush of making it to state. You never know how they’re going to do, and we ran really well today. It’s really hard to say that you ran great. That doesn’t happen very often, but we ran a very, very solid.”

Bartlesville, Edmond Memorial, Norman and Owasso rounded out the teams in the top five.

“So we’re excited, and we’re just going to start building for next year, recruit some people, try to, from our high school, and see if we can come back and get the guys up on the podium next year,” xxx said, “That’s the goal. We lose only one senior, and the teams in front of us lose more than that, two or three, so we’re hoping that we can move up quite a bit.”

NOT FINISHED YET

The Mustang cross country teams still have a couple of more meets to compete in before they turn in their uniforms.

On Saturday, the Cross Country Meet of Championships is being held at Irving Middle School in Norman.

The meet is designed to have the top runners in each of the classifications to compete against each other. So the top 10 finishers at each of the state meets have been invited.

That includes Emma Downing on the girls side and Simonsen and Mills on the boys.

Girls will run at 9 a.m. and the boys at 9:45 a.m.

All runners who compete in the Meet of Champions are invited to run in the

Oklahoma/Arkansas duel on Nov. 11.

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